Rodent patrol

My favourite story of the day has to be this one from Germany about a 23 year-old Goettingen man who was so terrified of a mouse that he ran out of his flat in the middle of the night wearing only his boxers. He then used the nearest public callbox to phone the police. (Don't they have cellphones in Germany? Or did he just forget in his panic?). To make matters worse, it was snowing.

The police arrived. That's Teutonic thoroughness and efficiency for you. Here in Britain the boys in blue are usually too busy filling out risk-assessment forms or following up the latest complaint about Basil Brush's alleged racism. Certainly it's hard to imagine them turning out at 3.30 AM to catch a mouse. But I digress. What did the coppers do? Arrest the guy for wasting police time? Not a bit of it. They entered the flat armed with - a practical touch this - traffic cones in an attempt to apprehend the offending rodent. To no avail. In a statement, the constabulary admitted that "despite an intensive search of all the rooms" the intruder eluded detection. And the traumatised victim (the technical term for whose condition, if memory serves, is sminthophobia) had no option but to trudge through the snow to a friend's house.

"How the mouse spent the rest of the night remains a mystery," police said. "Maybe it came out of hiding and spent the night dancing on the table."

Ah, that famous German sense of humour.

Clarification: It's April 1st next week.


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